Double libel success for Lamont

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Former chancellor of the exchequer Norman Lamont had a not-so-black Wednesday this week, winning libel victories against the Evening Standard and the Oxford University Press.

Both have apologised and agreed to pay damages.

The Standard settled after a story in the Londoner’s Diary section suggested Lamont sought to insult James Major and Emma Noble by giving them a copy of his autobiography, which was critical of James’ father, John Major, as a wedding present.

In a statement read out in open court on Wednesday, Lamont’s lawyer David Price said: "My Lord, the truth is that the claimant did not give the couple a copy of his memoirs either as a wedding present or at all. Accordingly, there was no basis to accuse the Claimant of cheap and vindictive conduct."

Lamont has also successfully sued the Oxford Companion to 20th Century British Politics over an entry that wrongly claimed Lamont had once "anxiously asked a policeman to make him a way through traffic" on the basis that he was the "rote minister responsible for the British Nuclear Button".

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